Egypt and Mummies are two words who are bound to get interlinked with one another even if only one of them is pronounced at a time. Such has been the aura of Mummies that nobody-including Archaeologists, Researchers, Scientists, Historians, Film makers- can get enough of them. However, there are still a lot of facts that we have been averse to for there is more to it than what meets the eye. Here are 15 immensely engaging facts about Mummies that are bound to hit that sweet spot of curiosity within.
1. Egyptian Mummies Are Dead Pharaohs (Kings) Whose Bodies Were Preserved After Their Death So That They Become Gods Worshiped By The People
It was widely believed, in ancient Egypt, that once a king died, his body would need to be preserved so that his soul could travel to the next world, thereby, making the king one of the many gods to be worshiped by the people. To enable this, the process of Mummification came into existence, through which the dead bodies of the kings were preserved from decomposing and placed in special tombs in the Egyptian pyramids that still stand today. On the other hand, the poor Egyptians were buried in sand.(source)
2. South Americans Were The First People Who Started Mummifying Dead People 2,000 Years Before Egyptians Began With the Mummification Process
2,000 years before Egyptians started the process of “Mummification”, the Chinchorro people, who lived on the coast of the Atacama Desert, in modern-day Peru and Chile, were already mummifying their dead people. The oldest Chinchorro mummies date back about 7,000 years. The dead bodies had their organs removed, their skin was sewed back and their bodies were painted black from head to toe. Then the Chinchorro people would place wigs on the heads, and they left the eyes and mouths open.
No conclusive theories have been proposed to explain why this process took place but many believe that due to the dry climate of the Atacama Desert, corpses did not decompose and hence, the people found a workaround.(source)
3. The Pyramids In Egypt Were Built To Protect The Dead Bodies Of Kings That Have Been Mummified For Thousands Of Years
The pyramids were built to protect the body of the deceased pharaoh (king). These massive tombs were constructed to withstand the elements of time and were intended to last forever. The king upon his death represented “Osiris”-setting of the sun while the new pharaoh, his son, represented “Horus”- rising of the sun. That’s why it was so imperative to preserve the bodies of the Dead kings in order to continue the cycle of sun-setting and sun-rising. Once the process of mummification was complete, the pharaoh was buried with his most prized possessions such as jewelry, funerary statues, and items that would aid him in his afterlife.
In each pyramid a sarcophagus made of heavy stone protected the king’s mummy but since they were robbed by the tomb robbers, the existing Kings decided to carve their tombs among cliffs.(source)
4. In Egypt, Cats Who Died Were Also Mummified With The Kings Since They Were Thought To Be A Very Sacred Animal
In Egypt, the dead Pharaohs (Kings) were not the only people who got Mummified. Mummification of animals, particularly Cats, was also done along with the Kings. Cats, in Egypt, have been thought of as a very sacred animal that is often considered to be the harbinger of Good Luck. It was also commonly advocated that Cats could kill vermin and even poisonous snakes, because of which they were worshiped in ancient Egypt. Many Pharaohs were buried with their mummified pet cats.(source)
5. The Mummies Are Thought To Be Protected With Curses In Order To Shield Them From Evil And To Prevent Them From Being Stolen
Legends about the “Curse of the Pharaoh’s” started around the 7th Century when the Arabs arrived in Egypt. Fearing that the Mummies might be stolen for the antiques that were buried with the Dead Bodies, it has been widely believed that the Mummies were protected with a curse that would be laid upon anyone who tried to smuggle them. However, no archaeologist has been able to trace the origin of the curse, although many stories about people getting affected by the curse have been floated since 1923, after an archaeologist named “Howard Carter” upon discovering King Tutankhaumum’s tomb, tried to peek into the structure along with his excavation sponsor- Lord Carnarvon. Lord Carnarvon later died after blood poisoning and Howard Carter died in 1939.(source)